Recovery of Oral In Vitro Biofilms after Exposure to Peptides and Chlorhexidine

Tian Zhang, Lingyun Xia, Zhejun Wang, Robert E.W. Hancock, Markus Haapasalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study aimed to examine the dynamic recovery of established multispecies biofilms of oral bacteria after an initial treatment by D-enantiomeric peptide DJK-5, L-enantiomeric peptide 1018, or chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX). Methods: Oral biofilms from 2 donors were grown on collagen-coated hydroxyapatite disks for 3 weeks and exposed to DJK-5, 1018, and 2% CHX for 3 minutes. Immediately after treatment and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 12 weeks after exposure, the biofilm volume and the volume ratio of dead and live bacteria in biofilms were assessed by confocal laser scanning microscopy using a live/dead viability stain. Results were examined by 1-way analysis of variance and post hoc multiple comparisons to determine significance at a P < .05 significance level. Results: DJK-5 killed almost 80% of biofilms in 3 minutes and maintained this high level of dead bacteria for 1 week. The proportion of viable bacteria in DJK-5–treated biofilms returned to the pretreatment level after 12 weeks. The biovolume of DJK-5–treated biofilm remained significantly lower than that of biofilms after CHX and no treatment throughout the 12-week follow-up period (P < .001). The proportion of dead bacteria was higher in biofilms exposed to DJK-5 than with 1018 or CHX for 8 weeks after the exposure (P < .001). The proportion of dead bacteria almost doubled to 46%–52% during the first 7 days after the 3-minute exposure to CHX and peptide 1018. The timeline of biofilm recovery was slow but similar after exposure to CHX and the 2 peptides. Conclusions: ecovery time after exposure to DJK-5 was longer than that after exposure to 1018 and CHX. Peptide 1018 showed a delayed, continued antibacterial effect similar to that of 2% CHX against the biofilm microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-471
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • chlorhexidine
  • peptides
  • recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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